Monday, 19 November, 2018

Have mercy! Anderson and Isner demand rule change after Wimbledon epic

Roger Federer Wimbledon GETTYNovak Djokovic has been tipped to win the tournament
Frederick Owens | 14 July, 2018, 07:32

The 32-year-old Anderson triumphed 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 26-24 after six hours and 36 minutes on Centre Court.

The previous longest semifinal match at Wimbledon was in 2013, when Djokovic beat Juan Martín del Potro in 4 hours, 44 minutes.

ESPN commented the match lasted longer than the original Star Wars trilogy at a combined total of 6 hours, 19 minutes.

When asked how he would recover from such an epic and play in the Wimbledon finals on Sunday afternoon, the South African said: "It's tough, I really don't know". At the end, I feel like it's a draw between the two of us but someone has to win. John´s a great guy. "At that stage, you're just trying to fight in every single moment, and I was like, 'Just get up!"' I apologize if I'm not fully excited right now. Isner and Anderson, both giants capable of enormous serves, just kept blasting the ball past each other, trading service and sides of the court as the rules dictated, but rarely ever competing in a compelling rally. Anderson moves on to play Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the men's 2018 Wimbledon final.

Kevin Anderson won a gruelling, history-making semi-final that ran for over six and a half hours to earn a place in his first Wimbledon final.

For the first time in the Open era, the semi-finals were made up exclusively of players over 30.

"I personally don't see the added value or benefit compared to, say, at the US Open where we're playing tie-breaks in the fifth set". But Anderson has broken serve more than Isner, with 18 returning games won to the American's 15.

For Isner, who has come off second best in five-set marathons for the fourth successive year at Wimbledon, things simply can not go on like this any more. Anderson fell to the Serbian in five sets in 2015 at Wimbledon and in three sets in 2011 in London.

John Isner loses to eight seed in longest semifinal match at Wimbledon
Anderson and Isner's main strength is their service game, which was pretty apparent given that three sets went to a tie-break. The eighth seed will face either twice champion Rafael Nadal or three-times victor Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.


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Isner had nothing left to give after his 70-68 record-setter eight years ago, and lost his next match.

Anderson again broke the hard-serving American in the fourth set on his way to forcing a deciding set.

However, soon after Djokovic had gone on social media to show he had been reduced to playing a game of marbles on the locker room floor - a message punctuated with three laughing emojis - Anderson delivered the knockout blow to reach the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.

Anderson had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner hit long.

Remarkably Djokovic holds the slimmest of advantages at 26-25.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, trails Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 victor, 26-25 in a rivalry which began at Roland Garros 12 years ago.

Some did see the amusing side, providing some alternative statistics to what was officially the longest ever Wimbledon semi-final.

Nadal will rue missing two returns, while he got a taste of his own medicine on the second chance when Djokovic feathered a drop shot over the net. Neither has won a major title, although Anderson came the closest, losing to Nadal in last year's U.S. Open final.

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